German university drops Palestinian seminar amid accusations of “anti-Semitism”

Have we arrived to a point whereby every time there’s a mention of “Palestinians” it will evoke a charge of “anti-Semitism”?

PP (and AP) • Aug 5, 2016

A German university is ditching a seminar about young people in the Palestinian territories that faced accusations of “anti-Semitic” and anti-Israeli content.

The University of Applied Sciences and Arts in the northern city of Hildesheim said Friday it is redesigning its teaching on the Middle East conflict and social work in the coming academic year. It will drop a seminar “on the social situation of young people in Palestine.”

Germany’s Central Council of Jews and others had criticized that course. The university has said the criticism centered on material heavily critical of Israel which “only serve as reading materials and are used to train students in critical discourse,” but did not reflect its political views.

University President Christiane Dienel said: “There is no place for anti-Semitism at our university.” And indeed no place should tolerate anti-Semitism or any other racist notions.

But It seems it’s a no win situation when it comes to the Palestinians. It’s an indisputable fact that millions of Palestinians are under Israeli military rule, deprived of basic human and civil rights. (Unless you one of those who believe Palestinians don’t exist!) If Jewish groups in the diaspora keep insisting that any criticism of any Israeli government, and any mention of Palestinians rights as being “anti-Semitism”, then they are doing a disservice to their own cause.

Real anti-Semitism should be opposed by us all. Accusation of “anti-Semitism” on the ground of political criticism of an Israeli government should not be accepted by anyone, and above all Jewish groups in the Diaspora. It’s their duty to make the distinction clearer to everyone. To educate us on the real danger of anti-Semitism and not the accusation and slander of those who are calling for Palestinians rights.

It’s true that in some small section of pro-Palestinian supporters, may have some anti-Semitic tendencies. Sadly some of it comes from this particular confusion between the two ideas. By no means it’s the majority nor is it a reflection on the Palestinians themselves. This should not give the right for a blanket censorship of all and everything to do with Palestine and Palestinians. Nor should it protect the Israeli government/s from criticism when their actions are oppressive or illegal under international law.

Cry wolf can work for a while. But could it really achieve anything at the end?